Word count for pdf files
Thread poster: chda

chda  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
English to French
Sep 6, 2006

I have a quote to give for the translation of several pdf files. I've tried to copy and paste some parts of the documents in a doc file (there are also pictures and diagrams with words to be translated), but I have strange things appearing on the screen, such as several words in one, let alone all the ?%^¨$ etc...
I've also tried to convert it with ScanSoft PDF Converter, and it doesn't work either. It says the documents are images that cannot be converted, and I have the same things on the screen.
So, does anyone know how to count words in that case ? I don't want to spend hours to reread all the documents to separate the words and then count them, plus the words on the images (not for a simple quote!)

Thank you very much for your help

Christine


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:40
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
An approximation Sep 6, 2006

Try approximating the number of words instead.

Pick up, say, a quarter of a page, and count the words there. Then multiply the result with the number of 'quarter pages' in the whole document.

This is a last resort for PDF files that cannot be converted into Word (f. ex. Hebrew files that were created on a Mac computer).

I hope that was useful,
Doron


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:40
Italian to English
Approximate Sep 6, 2006

If you're giving the client a lump sum quote, rather than a rate per word, it is not so essential to be precise.
For one recent quote I couldn't extract any text at all from a pdf and so I manually counted the number of words in, say, 12 column inches and then measured the total column length to arrive at an overall estimate.
This requires a fairly uniform page format of course.


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chda  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to both of you, Sep 6, 2006

and as you say I'll give them an approximation, but it will take longer than I expected !

Thank you very much again, it was very useful

Christine


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:40
English to Russian
Why don't you buy a word counting tool? Sep 6, 2006

There are many I know. I use AnyCount by AIT (about $30). It counts words/lines/pages/characters in many formats including PDF. It is also included into their Translation Office 3000 which automates many of the translation business tasks like keeping record of all jobs/clients/invoices/office expenses/contacts etc. If you are just starting in the translation business I would recommend considering that. The cost is not prohibitive (about $180) and it will solve your many other problems. Unfortunately their latest version of TO3000, Version 8 in my view has many drawbacks, but probably you will like it if you have not used Version 7 which was perfect, but I do not know if it is still offered for sale. Sorry I cannot give any links, but if you google for "AnyCount" and "TO3000" I am sure you will find them.
There is also "PractiCount".


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Gisela Murdter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
AbracadabraCompteur 2 adds a word-counter in Adobe Reader Sep 6, 2006

You could also try this freeware - available in several languages. It works fine on my PC.
http://www.abracadabrapdf.net/pages/fr/abracompteur

Should the page open in French just click on:
AbraCOMPTEUR
free stuff in 8 languages
and you can choose from several languages.

[Edited at 2006-09-06 19:00]

[Edited at 2006-09-06 19:01]


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chda  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks to you all, Sep 6, 2006

I'll try http://www.abracadabrapdf.net/pages/fr/abracompteur right now !

Christine


[Edited at 2006-09-06 21:20]


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:40
German to English
+ ...
A PDF with a scanned image must be converted first Sep 6, 2006

... using Abbyy FineReader 8 or a similar program.

A program that tries to copy or count the characters will not do the job until you have extracted the file. The only other option is the manual estimate.

For more on FineReader, go to the Search box on the left of the Proz screen, enter "FineReader", click on "Forums" and search. It will tell you just about all you need to know (including the competiting programs, advantages, drawbacks etc.).


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:40
English to Swedish
+ ...
You must OCR a flat PDF first! Sep 7, 2006

Victor is absolutely right.

A word count tool is useless if your PDF is flattened/image based (as opposed to tagged/text based).

Abbyy Fine Reader 8 is an expensive but good solution.
Abbyy PDF Transformer is a cheaper variety that does wonders to flattened PDFs, too.

This question has been up lots of times at the forum. Do a search first, and read all the previous answers....


/Jan


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chda  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much Sep 7, 2006

for your replies

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